MIKE PHELAN has confirmed that Hull City have offered him a contract to become the club’s permanent manager – but has stressed he will only sign when everything is right regarding the deal.
Talks have resumed regarding the future of the 53-year-old, with discussions having stalled early last week after Phelan’s representatives revealed the two parties were “still wide apart”.
More meetings are likely to take place next week with Phelan – who took temporary charge after Steve Bruce walked out on July 22 – likely to lead Hull on a caretaker basis into a ninth successive week.
Phelan, whose side welcome Arsenal this afternoon, said: “I have been made an offer, I can clarify that.
“I am just working my way through it and we will see what discussions come forward.
“We just have not come to an agreement yet. As soon as that agreement is made, then it will be done.
“It does take time. It is not a straight-forward piece of paper anymore. It just used to be ‘sign here on the dotted line’ and then a few lines on what you were earning.
“Now it is a bit more detailed and I am just finding that out. We just have to be patient and wait and see.”
Phelan has been forced to field a plethora of questions regarding his future since the start of the Premier League campaign, but he remains philosophical about the situation.
His main focus remains on continuing the Tigers’ excellent start to the season, which has seen them pick up seven points from four matches to lie in an encouraging eighth position – with their early-season exploits recently seeing him claim the Premier League manager of the month award for August.
The feats of Phelan and his side are all the more laudable given the endless takeover rumours regarding the club.
Developments this week have seen former Tigers chairman Paul Duffen confirm that he is aiding owners Assem and Ehab Allam in finding a buyer for the club after visiting East Yorkshire with Chinese businessman Chien Lee earlier this week.
Admirably, Phelan is retaining focus on matters on the pitch despite persistent speculation regarding off-the-field matters and his own future.
On whether he is growing tired regarding questions over his future, Phelan added: “I do and I don’t. I come in on a morning and wonder what the press conference will be about, but you tend to come back to the same things; the ownership and my future.
“It is just an ongoing thing. There have been bigger and better managers than me that have been in discussions over the terms of a contract.
“At the end of it all, you have to get the best deal for yourself and what the club can do within that deal. I am no different to anyone else.
“It is a major step for me, a major role to play, so I just want what is right to take this club forward.”
Meanwhile, Phelan believes that striker Abel Hernandez has firmly cast aside pre-deadline day rumours regarding his future and is now fully focused and “raring to go” in his bid to maintain the club’s fine start to the campaign.
The Uruguayan international, 26, was reportedly the subject of a £20m bid from Aston Villa, with national reports claiming that he wanted to move to the Midland club.
As far as Phelan is aware, a cast-iron bid never transpired, although he is crystal clear that Hernandez has now put all the speculation behind him and is committed to the Tigers’ cause – with the club working towards securing his future on a long-term deal.
He added: “In the background, there was a lot of speculation that he (Hernandez) wanted to move on. That was never brought to my attention other than what I picked up through the media.
“Possibly what helped us was that he played the (Manchester United) game and then flew off to Uruguay, so he was miles away (on deadline day).
“To be fair to him, he has come back and is raring to go. It sometimes makes me wonder if he knew much about it himself. He is back with us and he seems to be enjoying his training.
“He now knows there is a challenge because we have brought a couple of strikers in.
“Let’s be fair, he is at a football club that gives him the chance to express himself in the Premier League. It is a fabulous opportunity.”